Lineas de investigacion

Chemical modifications in processed foods (CHEMPROFOOD)



We investigate the chemical modifications and interactions of food constituents that occur through amino carbonyl reactions, mainly the so-called the Maillard reaction, during the thermal processing of food in industrial, domestic, and restaurant settings. The development of the Maillard reaction directly impacts the quality, safety, and bioactivity of the food. We study the beneficial/harmful properties for consumers of new food formulations and ingredients by applying a risk/benefit model. We develop and implement strategies to mitigate the formation of chemical contaminants during food processing. Finally, we disseminate the results to society (government agencies, regulators, the productive sector, consumers). Our main research lines include: i) New analytical methodologies for the determination of Maillard products with implications for food quality and safety, ii) Analysis, mitigation, bioaccessibility, and exposure to chemical contaminants during food processing, iii) Antiglycative capacity of compounds obtained from food by-products.

Research Lines

  • New analytical methodologies in the determination of Maillard products and lipid oxidation with implications on food quality and safety.
  • Analysis, mitigation, bioaccessibility and exposure to chemical process contaminants in food.
  • Strategies to delay oxidation in oils and bioactive lipids.
  • Antiglycative capacity of natural compounds obtained from food by-products.


  • Analysis of food constituents (sugars, carbohydrate, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, phenolic acids, etc.).
  • Quantitative determination of polar compounds, triglyceride polymers, oxidized triglycerides, triglyceride dimers, diglycerides and free fatty acids, process-induced contaminants (acrylamide, hydroxymethylfurfural, furan), protein glycation markers (furosine, carboxymethyllysine, pentosidine), melanoidins, antioxidant capacity, in vitro bioaccessibility, antihypertensive capacity, antiglycative capacity (fructosamine, BSA-Glc, MGO-trapping), oxidative stability by Rancimat, epoxy-, hydroxy- and ketoacids.
  • Development of kinetic models and upscaling to foods.
  • Application to frying, baking, toasting and sterilization.
  • Food matrices such as coffee and surrogates, potato, cereals and derivatives, oils, fats, milk-based infant foods.


  • Tipo: Protección de creación intelectual (software de aplicación para teléfonos móviles)
    Título: SAFEFRYING. Aplicación de móvil para reducir el riesgo de la presencia de la contaminante acrilamida en las patatas fritas través de la evaluación objetiva del color”.
    Autor(es): F.J. Morales; M. Mesías; C. Delgado
    Centro: Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos y Nutrición (ICTAN). Fecha: 03/12/2018. Número: 6397-2018 acta notarial CSIC.
  • TIPO: Patente de transferencia I+D
    Título: Procedimiento de obtención de una cobertura alimentaria para la inhibición de contaminantes químicos de procesado.
    Autor(es): M.P. Montero; M.C. Gómez-Guillén; F.J. Morales; B. Jiménez-Castillo. Centro: Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos y Nutrición (ICTAN). Fecha: 09/09/2010
    Número: ES1641.808 (LICENCIA: P-201030348CSIC-MAT)
    Licenciada: SI (19/01/2012)


Group Leader:



  • 91 549 23 00


Maillard reaction, Chemical process contaminants, Lipid oxidation, Microencapsulation, Melanoidins, Glycation.


Morales, F.J.; Mesías, C.; Delgado-Andrade, C. Association between Heat-Induced Chemical Markers and Ultra-Processed Foods: A Case Study on Breakfast Cereals. Nutrients, 2020, 12, 1418. doi: 10.3390/nu12051418

Holgado, F., Márquez-Ruiz, G., Ruiz-Méndez, M.V., Velasco, J. Influence of oil droplet size on the oxidative stability of the free and encapsulated fractions of freeze-dried microencapsulated sunflower oil. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2020, 55(2), 833-840. doi: 10.1111/ijfs.14369.

Mesias, M.; Delgado-Andrade, C.; Holgado, F.; Morales, F.J. Acrylamide content in French fries prepared in households: A pilot study in Spanish homes. Food Chemistry, 2018, 260 (15), 44–52. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.03.140

Navarro, M; Morales, F.J. Effect of hydroxytyrosol and olive leaf extract on 1,2-dicarbonyl compounds, hydroxymethylfurfural and advanced glycation endproducts in a biscuit model. Food Chemistry, 2017, 217, 602–609. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.039

Delgado-Andrade, C., Pastoriza, S., Peinado, M.J.; Rufián-Henares, J.A.; Navarro, M.P.; Rubio, L.A. Modifications in bacterial groups and short chain fatty acid production in the gut of healthy adult rats after long-term consumption of dietary Maillard reaction products”. Food Res. Int., 2017, 100, 134-142. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.06.067.

Mesías, M; Holgado, F; Márquez-Ruiz, G.; Morales, F.J. Risk/Benefits considerations of a new formulation of wheat-based biscuit supplemented with different amounts of chia flour. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 2016, 73, 528-535. doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2016.06.056.